Self Improvement 20: Sleep More

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  • Sleeping makes you learn better.
  • Maybe you want to lose some extra pounds?
  • Five hours of sleep decreases testosterone.
  • Too little sleep makes you sick.
  • Not enough sleep makes you emotionally unstable.
  • No sleep make you less alert.
  • Not sleeping will degrade your performance.

Here’s the science why you should sleep more!

Enough sleep is the key to your wellbeing. Sleeping replenishes your health and mind giving you the energy to deal with physical and emotional activities of the day. Your willpower is at it’s highest levels shortly after you wake up. I collected some of the scientific research findings that will tell you in no uncertain terms to “Go to bed!”

Sleeping makes you learn better.

If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice. But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better. Dr. David Rapoport, an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center

Maybe you want to lose some extra pounds?

Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study, it reduced fat loss by 55 percent. Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago

Do you want to be THE MAN? Go to sleep

Five hours of sleep decreased their testosterone levels by 10 percent to 15 percent. The young men had the lowest testosterone levels in the afternoons on their sleep restricted days, between 2 pm and 10 pm. Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine

Van Cauter laboratory has published several studies about the metabolic and hormonal consequences of sleep loss. These results suggest you might want to sleep more:

  • Study showing that a significant sleep debt could trigger metabolic and endocrine changes that are similar to many of the hallmarks of aging (1999).
  • Study found that inadequate sleep could foster insulin-resistance, a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes (2001).
  • Study indicating that sleep deprivation could slow the response to vaccination, suggesting that sleep loss could reduce the ability to fight off an infection.
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Too little sleep makes you sick.

Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on health. Our immune system just cannot work at the optimal level without sufficient hours of sleep. Nancy Baker, the associate director of Harvard University Health Services

Not enough sleep makes you emotionally unstable.

When students are functioning on only three hours of sleep, they will often experience extreme mood swings and impaired judgment. Elizabeth Kensinger, a professor in the Harvard psychology department

No sleep make you less alert.

First and foremost, total sleep deprivation impairs attention and working memory, but it also affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making. Partial sleep deprivation is found to influence attention, especially vigilance. Paula Alhola and Päivi Polo-Kantola

Not sleeping will degrade your performance.

After 17-19 hours without sleep, corresponding to 2230 and 0100, performance on some tests was equivalent or worse than that at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. Response speeds were up to 50% slower for some tests and accuracy measures were significantly poorer than at this level of alcohol. After longer periods without sleep, performance reached levels equivalent to the maximum alcohol dose given to subjects (BAC of 0.1%). A Williamson and A. Feyer

Sleep deprivation is like an illness, it’ll make your performance lower, and sometimes you don’t even understand what’s happening. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 30 percent of adults in the United States sleep less than six hours on average. Not enough sleep has huge consequences.

sleep more statistics

Figure 2. Prevalence of Short Sleep Duration (<7 hours) for Adults Aged ≥ 18 Years, by County, United States, 2014

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Sleep More Tips

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day1,2
Infant 4-12 months 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler 1-2 years 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Pre-school 3-5 years 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age 6-12 years 9-12 hours per 24 hours
Teen 13-18 years 8-10 hours per 24 hours
Adult 18-60 years 7 or more hours per night

sleep more teens

You should get 7 to 9 hour of sleep every night. No excuses. Sleep more to make your life better. When you sleep less, your performance will be lower, and that negates the extra hours you gain by depriving yourself of sleep. What time do you have to get up? Subtract a minimum of 8 hours and get to bed at that time. If you have to get up at 7 AM, you need to go to sleep at 11 PM. Although, you should sleep more then waking up early also improves your life.

Now, go to bed on time today.


Image: RD & KD BFF by Kevin Dooley

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1 Response

  1. May 15, 2013

    […] Improve Your Life #20: Sleep More… […]

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